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Transforming Business Education through Social Innovation: from Exalting Heroes to Engaging our Humanity


Our world is faced with complex challenges that include poverty, hunger, lack of education, gender inequality, sustainability, and climate change. These issues cannot be addressed by government action alone and requires the business world play an important role. Despite the many effort of companies to address social responsibility in the last decade however, capitalism continues to suffer a crisis of trust. Many organizations lack the awareness, mindset, frameworks, and knowledge to efficiently and effectively make progress in providing solutions to these systemic challenges, while also ensuring business performance. The authors argue that business schools are uniquely positioned and have a responsibility to contribute to this cause as educators of the business leaders of tomorrow. A landscape survey of social entrepreneurship / social innovation (SE/SI) education with 66 institutions of higher education and in-depth interviews with 8 social intrapreneurs from diverse career tracks reveals significant challenges as well as opportunities for creating this paradigm shift in business schools. This research uses insights from these two studies to provide an overview of the current state of SE/SI in business education and provides recommendations for institutions of higher education to pave a pathway forward for future leaders who will use business to create positive social change.

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Correspondence to Lerzan Aksoy.

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Aksoy, L., Jazaieri, H., Loureiro, Y.K. et al. Transforming Business Education through Social Innovation: from Exalting Heroes to Engaging our Humanity. Humanist Manag J 4, 239–259 (2019).

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  • Business education
  • social innovation
  • social entrepreneurship
  • changemaking
  • curriculum